Kevin Foote will continue as the Rebels coach next season despite not winning a game during his five match interim stint with the Melbourne club this year.
To be fair, only two Australian teams (Reds and Brumbies) did post victories in Super Rugby trans-Tasman and the Rebels felt Foote showed enough promise after taking the reins from fellow South African Dave Wessels.
Foote, 42, is a former South African sevens representative who served as an assistant to Wessels before his resignation.
The only place rugby fans can watch every match is on Stan Sport. Start your free sport trial now!
“I’m very grateful for everyone at the Melbourne Rebels for giving me this great opportunity to lead a really special group of dedicated and determined young men,” Foote said.
“We’ve got an exciting group of players, with some fantastic talent coming through, which will create good competition for spots amongst the current group.
“We’re developing a special culture within the club with the staff, the coaches and the playing group, and I’m excited to take that to the next level next season and give our loyal partners and beloved members and fans something to be proud of.”
READ MORE: Wallabies suffer another painful injury blow
READ MORE: COVID forces first Test to Brisbane
READ MORE: Misguided move ‘rips off’ rugby fans
Powell catches Crusaders napping
The permanent appointment of Foote headlined a raft of Rebels announcements on Stan Sport’s Rugby Heaven on Tuesday night.
Former Reds coach Nick Stiles has signed on as the club’s general manager of rugby after a stint in Japan coaching the Kintetsu Liners.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Melbourne Rebels during such a promising time for our Super Rugby club and the wider Victorian rugby community,” Stiles said.
“As we build towards season 2022, there’s a lot to be excited about, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and helping the club plan for sustained on-field, commercial and community success.”
And Kiwi Ryan Martin will rejoin the Rebels as attack coach after helping them engineer an upset win over the Highlanders in 2020.
Martin is currently in charge of the New England Free Jacks in Major League Rugby.
The Rebels have also snared the signatures of Reds halfback Moses Sorovi and Australian sevens representative Joe Pincus for the next two seasons.
And crucially for Foote, key men Rob Leota, Andrew Kellaway, Joe Powell, Josh Kemeny and Richard Hardwick have re-signed through till 2023, as well as the experienced Ross Haylett-Petty committing for the 2022 campaign.
“Rob is a good young man, who has big future ahead of him and we’re really pleased he’s committed to Australian rugby,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said after warding off club interest from France.
“He was great for the Rebels in Super Rugby this year, his physicality on both sides of the ball a real feature of his game.
“His attitude has been impressive since coming into camp and he’s putting in a lot of hard work with the group here in Queensland.”
Meanwhile, LA Giltinis coach Darren Coleman is set to be unveiled as the new Waratahs coach this week, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The star-studded Giltinis have the best record in the MLR (11-2), with a whopping plus points differential of 232.
Coleman also knows the New South Wales rugby landscape intimately and has an outstanding resume coaching in the Shute Shield.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!